The Bible says in Colossians 3:1-4 “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory”.
The Bible is a spiritual book. But there are many people who read it as though it were an earthly storybook and they go astray. During our recent visit to Nairobi my wife were travelling on a bus and on one of its stops it stopped directly opposite a church which had these words written on its doorpost: “Read: Zech. 3 and Isa. 61”.
We both got intrigued and wanted to know what this was all about, so my wife got out her Bible and read. In both scriptures we found the word “turban”. Now, this is a denomination where both men and women wear turbans; but they got the idea from Bible. And yet, the spirit of these scriptures is far from the understanding that this church has.
In the same manner when the Bible says to raise our eyes to the heavens it does not mean we look up to the blue skies above. Nor does the Bible imply that we should go climbing mountains in the belief that we will find God there. All these things have their merits, of course, but they are not what make us spiritual.
Now, in the scripture from Colossians we just quoted above Paul is talking about seeking “those things which are above”. In the first place, what ‘above’ is he talking about? It is heaven, God’s abode. If there is an earthly abode, then there is also a heavenly abode.
And what are the ‘things’ he is referring to? It is spiritual things. The Bible says God is spirit. If there are physical things, then there must be spiritual things. The Apostle Paul makes that clear in 1 Corinthians 15:44. Some people lump the two together and want to make it appear as if they are one and the same thing. But they are two separate entities, just as heaven and earth are two different realms.
There are things that pertain to our bodies and this material world and there are, unfortunately, many Christians who seek after these things. But there are also things that concern the spirit and this is what Paul is telling us to seek after. This is why the gospel of prosperity (which many preachers are careful to say they believe in) has no place absolutely in the Kingdom of God. We are called to seek after only things that pertain to our spirits. Of course, that is bad news for the flesh (including mine) for the flesh does not want to let go the things of this world; but, on the other hand, we must strive to understand God and God is spirit.
In the remaining verses of this chapter Paul talks of putting off the things that pertain to our former, carnal ‘old man’ and putting on the things that make up the character of the spiritual man – mercy, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering, forgiveness, love, peace and other, similar virtues.
In a nutshell, we could call these things the grace of God. In other words, we are called to walk in the grace of God. Ever since Jesus came to earth, the Bible says grace has been poured out on earth “without measure” (Jn. 3:34).
I was once discussing with my pastor, Amas, about why so many seemingly good people die in their sins and he told me: “God has shown His love for mankind by giving His Son Jesus to die for their sins; there is nothing more He could possibly do.”
In the same way, we could say God has given His grace to the Church through giving us His Holy Spirit – and there is nothing more He can do. There is so much grace that has been released into the world, just so God’s children might know what their true inheritance is and that they might not run after the fading things of this world, at the expense of the well-being of their souls! God calls us to seek after His grace which He has lovingly poured so abundantly upon us.